WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is declining to call the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, breaking a specific promise he made when he ran for president.
Obama says in a statement marking Armenian Remembrance Day that the massacre was the first mass atrocity of the 20th century. He’s also praising Armenia for taking in Syrian refugees. But the statement stops short of using the word “genocide” in his final annual statement on the issue. Obama is not expected to recognize the killings as a genocide before leaving office in January 2016. Armenian-American leaders say Obama is outsourcing U.S. foreign policy and America’s moral voice to Turkey. Turkey staunchly opposes the genocide label. The U.S. is seeking Turkey’s help with the Syrian refugee crisis and the campaign against the ISIS.